Preparations start for demolition of former Sears corporate campus along I-90

Installation of a perimeter fence and security cameras over the next couple weeks will mark the start of the transformation of Sears’ former 2.4 million square feet of office space into Compass Datacenters’ new 273-acre campus in western Hoffman Estates.

Demolition of the buildings won’t begin for several more months, said Katy Hancock, vice president of community relations for Compass.

She said the buildings will be torn down one by one, with the clearing out of each one’s interior immediately preceding its demolition.

The process is expected to take until mid-2025. In the meantime, Sears’ former Building E on the campus will continue to host training exercises for area police and fire departments for as long as practical, Hancock said.

American Demolition of Carol Stream was selected for the project largely for its proven ability to minimize waste and maximize reuse of materials, she said. Concrete, stone and asphalt will be crushed on site for use as fill-in at the development of Compass’ own data center campus.

Work will be confined to the hours between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday until the demolition is complete.

Even as the demolition of Sears’ three-decade presence on the site is under way, planning will continue for Compass’ construction.

Brett Collard, the company’s vice president of development, said Compass Datacenters has primarily developed its campuses for a single tenant each. The Hoffman Estates site is likely to follow that pattern.

Though no specific tenant was lined up in advance, a number of tech companies could be in the market for the sprawling site, Collard said.